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Consumer Q's: Turmeric and 'Autumn Minarets'
"Autumn Minaret" is noted for its height and for blooming later than most daylilies. - photo by ARTY SCHRONCE/special

Question: What exactly is turmeric? I see it in more restaurant dishes and things at the grocery store.
    Answer: Turmeric is a spice valued for its peppery-ginger flavor, golden-orange to saffron color and supposed health benefits. Turmeric is widely used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking and comes from the roots of Curcuma longa, a tropical plant related to ginger.
    Turmeric seems to be growing in popularity and acceptance. People who know it only as the spice that adds flavor and color to bread-and-butter pickles are seeing it pop up in dishes at restaurants and products at the grocery store. However, there seems to be no agreement among cooks or dictionaries as to whether to pronounce the first r in turmeric.

    Q: Are yellow watermelons sweeter than red watermelons?
    A: No, but they are just as sweet. Add color and variety to picnics and fruit salads by serving both red and yellow.
    Q: Is "Autumn Minaret" a good daylily? I was given one recently.
    A: You won’t be disappointed with your new acquisition. "Autumn Minaret" is a tall late-bloomer that extends the daylily season through July and perhaps into August. (The main daylily month is June.) It is fragrant and has orange-yellow flowers with a darker eye. Despite its name, summer is still in force when "Autumn Minaret" blooms here. Its blooms are not large, but at five and a half feet tall, you won’t overlook them. It was introduced in 1951.

    If you have questions about services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, write Arty Schronce ( or visit the department’s website at

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